A project with participation of BSC receives €8 million from the EU to improve air quality monitoring in Europe

25 October 2021

The RI-URBANS project will focus on nanoparticles and atmospheric particulate matter, their sizes, constituents, sources and gaseous precursors.

It seeks to implement new service tools that contribute to improving air quality in European cities

The European Commission funded project, RI-URBANS, has been officially launched with the aim to provide advanced service tools from atmospheric research infrastructures to better assess the air quality in Europe. RI-URBANS brings together eleven cities and twenty-eight partners across Europe in its objective of implementing advanced air quality monitoring observations in cities and industrial hotspots.

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) participates in this project that is coordinated by the Spanish Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC) and the University of Helsinki (UHEL), and led by Xavier Querol (IDAEA-CSIC) and Tuukka Petäjä (UHEL).

The Earth sciences department of BSC will develop a high resolution emission inventory of ultrafine particles for the city of Barcelona, and evaluate it combining the use of observations with street-scale modelling techniques.

“This is a golden opportunity to apply advanced air quality research to assess on the health effects of air pollution and on cost effective policies to reduce it, not only for the conventional air pollutants but also for non-regulated ones”, declared the researcher and RI-URBANS coordinator Xavier Querol.

To pursue its strategy, RI-URBANS (which stands for Research Infrastructures Services Reinforcing Air Quality Monitoring Capacities in European Urban & Industrial AreaS) will focus on ambient nanoparticles and atmospheric particulate matter, their sizes, constituents, source contributions, and gaseous precursors, evaluating novel air quality parameters, source contributions, and their associated health effects to demonstrate the European added value of implementing such service tools.

“The project brings together local air quality monitoring networks and European Research infrastructures on atmospheric composition (ACTRIS and IAGOS). This allows two-way interaction to develop and pilot novel service tools and harmonize data streams in real city environments with a pan-European coverage” underlined professor and RI-URBANS coordinator Tuukka Petäjä.

RI-URBANS will also improve modelling and emission inventories for policy assessment and will implement five pilots in nine cities (Athens, Barcelona, Birmingham, Bucharest, Helsinki, Milano, Paris, Rotterdam-Amsterdam, Zurich) to demonstrate these solutions for advanced air quality monitoring systems and evaluation of human exposure.

For more information, visit the project website in CORDIS or follow @RI_URBANS on Twitter and LinkedIn social media accounts.


Caption: RI-URBANS advanced service tools will improve air quality monitoring in European cities | Source: Pixabay